Back before college, there was always a table where all the cool kids sat at lunch. In some schools, that table and the right to sit there were a big deal. No one, uninvited, sat at the cool kids table because the people who sat there intimidated the people they didn’t know and welcomed those they shared similarities with. This intimidation factor also applies to any weight room. The weight room is a sort of “clubhouse.” If you walk into any gym, you might notice free weights in the corner, while other machines take over the floor area. Separate from where the treadmills and other cardio machines may be set up, the population is often sparse but entirely male dominant. If you hung up a “No Girls Allowed” sign, no difference may be had at some gyms and fitness centers. The weight room can pose as a scary place to venture as a female because, bluntly, it’s not normal and sometimes visually stated as unacceptable to be a girl lifting weights. People stare when something new enters the picture. When a female walks into the weight room, her defenses go up and her mental judgments swarm her mind with any pair of eyes she spots locked on her. When boys stare, girls can become extremely self-critical about anything they do. In some gyms, even the Wheeler weight room, there is a smaller space nearby that offers stretching mats, yoga materials, and a few meager weights. It’s almost as if females are expected to slack off or be unable to push themselves when it comes to athleticism. There’s an unspoken hint that suggests the heavy lifting should be left for the naturally stronger gender. This is a confidence issue as much as it stands as a fitness issue. Females feel unsettled when it comes to the weight room because of the weight of judgment of internal laughter, respect for a fit lady, or exclusion. Confidence is one of the best qualities anyone can carry with them. Numerous amounts of women aren’t confident or proud of the body they were given, yet can’t find the independence or strength to go make the change on their own. The shame of a body comes from society’s interpretation alone. One who is ashamed of their body has only accepted society’s theory of physicality. Breaking the stereotype is difficult and scary sometimes, but it’s worth it when it’s all making a mentally and physically stronger individual. There are pregnant women doing Cross-Fit courses and competitions. There are little girls born and raised in an athletic world. Others make a turning point and become fit by their own choice. Getting up, going to the gym, and sticking with the hard workouts are what changes you from the intimidated to the intimidation. The weight room doesn’t have to be a scary place and the ladies can be the cool kids.
December 11, 2014January is about to roll around and a new crowd will soon take over the gym equipment. Some of them might use the machines in a way you could have never imagined. A swarm of people will be found on the treadmills and ellipticals, partly from familiarity with the equipment and partly out of “first time at the gym ever” embarrassment. The weight room will appear more crowded than usual, with folks glowing with sweat and the hope of accomplishing their New Year’s Resolution of finally getting those muscles worth showing off. For those who habitually visit the gym, these new faces and appearances may be overwhelming or annoying when it comes to sticking to our routine workouts. What are we to do when our indoor exercise outlet is taken over by newfound dreamers, who may or may not stick around for longer than a month? If you have to get your daily run in, try taking to the reality of the trails, streets, or sidewalks. It might snow, rain, hail, or even simply be a really cold day with a bit of wind chill. Throwing a twist into your exercises, such as stadium workouts or a bit of a focused core workout, will get the other body parts you’ve been granting only so much attention. If you can’t work up the warmth to face the cold and can’t stand around waiting for your favorite workout machine, go try something new in the gym. There’s no better time to try out something new than when everyone else is doing the same thing.The only difference is you might have a clue as to what you’re doing. If you have to, pick a different time of day if your usual workout time is clogged with newcomers. According to the Telegraph, about 12% of gym memberships start in January. However, the Telegraph also said “Fitness Industry Association said that almost 22 per cent of people who join will have thrown in the towel after 24 weeks. A further 20 per cent will disappear before December.” If anything, lead by example and try to help out the newbies this time of year. Try a new class or check into at-home workouts that avoid the whole congested gym situation all together. Don’t let the January gym-goers get you down.
December 11, 2014Portland Trailblazers. The Blazers picked up a 107-84 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Nov. 6 at home. LaMarcus Aldridge led the team in scoring with 20 points, while Nicolas Batum led in both rebounds and assists, earning nine each. The Blazers shot a solid 84 percent from the free throw line, and nearly doubled the Mavericks in rebounds. The Trailblazers will play again on Nov. 11 against the Charlotte Hornets at home. Portland Winterhawks. On Nov. 2 the Winterhawks defeated the Edmonton Oil Kings in a 3-1 victory at home. Goalie Michael Bullion blocked 32 of 33 shots on goal, playing a major role in the team’s victory. The Winterhawks had just come off a 3-2 comeback win over Kelowna the night before. Portland will play again against Everett on Nov. 14.
December 2, 2014“Ninety percent of this game is mental, and the other half is physical.” Thus said Yogi Berra, a Hall-of-Fame major league baseball player for the New York Yankees. His words ring true in any athletic endeavor. When an athlete is out on the playing field, more than just physical habits are put to use. The mental aspect of sports provides a door to higher potential than just focusing on the physical. Coaches often implement one or more mind-relaxing skills to enhance athlete performances. One method suggests visualizing your performance. When you’ve practiced something for a long period of time, your brain learns how to respond to that situation. Just thinking of how you’re going to play in an upcoming game or how you’ll run at a meet can improve performance. This method can be used by meditation, or before going to sleep at night. Another method suggests voiding all negative thought directed toward your performance or self-esteem. All doubt and anxieties have to be put aside. If you’re going to perform your best, other stressors can’t be sitting on your shoulders. Verbally and positively reinforcing yourself overrides the negative thoughts and stressors that can affect performance. Setting goals is another outlet for athletes hoping to improve their athletic achievements. Making lists and staying organized is a technique used for academics or day-to-day life, but this can also improve athletic improvements. Setting a core drive behind an effort sets up a focal point for any athlete. Keeping those goals in the front of your thoughts can boost mental habits. Anything used to calm or prep for a game is considered a mental attribute and can contribute to a positive outcome. Superstitions and traditions fall into this method, helping athletes get into the zone or pumped up in their personal way to find a focus. All these are simple adjustments that can be made to better the outcome of an athletic performance.
November 25, 2014Freshman forward Brendin Quinn broke multiple George Fox University records in his first game against Grinnell College. During his freshmen debut game, Quinn helped lead the Bruins to a high scoring 124-114 win over Grinnell College in the Colorado College Tip-Off Invitational. Quinn started off his season with a double-double, totaling 27 points and 20 rebounds. With these high stats, Quinn became the first freshman to score 20 points and grab 20 rebounds since the 1990’s; he has the most points scored by a freshman in their debut game and he is tied for 7th on the all-time list for most rebounds in a single game. “I am grateful for this accomplishment because I’ve worked really hard, especially in the off season,” said Quinn. “To see myself do that is really eye opening. It’s good to see my hard work pay off. Ultimately, I was just glad we got the win because it wouldn’t have meant anything if we didn’t.” Quinn graduated from Thurston High School, where he played basketball and football. He averaged over 18 points per game his senior year and earned first-team all-league honors. Quinn was also named the team MVP his senior year. “Personally, I would like to make it onto an all-conference team,” said Quinn. “Team wise, we want to win conference and make it to the national tournament. Those are the goals for this year. I believe if we continue to work as hard as we have been, it’s possible.” The Bruins went on to lose the next day to Colorado College 90-98. Quinn fouled out of the game, but he managed three points, five rebounds and two assists.
November 25, 2014The Portland Trailblazers. On Nov. 17, The Blazers overcame the New Orleans Pelicans 102-93 after being down 15 points in the fourth quarter. This puts the Blazers at five straight wins. They are 8-3 in the overall season and 7-1 at home. Their next game will be against the Charlotte Hornets on Nov 26. The Portland Winterhawks. The Winterhawks lost to the Kamloops Blazers 4-1 on Nov 19. Their lone goal was scored by Keoni Texeira at the end of the second period. Their next match will be on Nov 25 at home against the Victoria Royals.
November 24, 2014Before a crowd of over 2,500 fans, the Bruins defeated the Lewis and Clark Pioneers 30-12 to earn their first victory of the season. Junior strong safety Justin Leatherman led GFU with two interceptions that he ran back for touchdowns. Not only were his two pick-sixes praised by the fans of GFU, they also brought national attention. Leatherman became the first player in GFU history to earn a spot on the D3football.com National Team of the Week. “Being recognized is great, but it was a team effort,” said Leatherman. “With the defensive line getting pressure and the linebacker getting in the right drops, it made my job a lot easier.” Leatherman wasn’t the only one being recognized on the national level. Sophomore linebacker Charles Riga is nationally ranked, thanks to his 7.5 sacks on the season. Riga continued his hard work with another nine tackles on the day, but Leatherman still took the lead with 10 total tackles. “As for me being nationally ranked, it’s all a product of hard work,” said Riga. “With coaches and a team that is playing with a relentless attitude. We came out hungry for our last home game. It felt great to get the win for our fans and supporters.” Sophomore tight-end Derek Richwine led the Bruins with 46 yards on four catches. Richwine and Schroeder also teamed up to score a touchdown. This season, more than 15,000 people have watched football at Stoffer Family Stadium. This high attendance rate will likely lead the conference and puts the Bruins as one of the top teams for attendance on the west coast.
November 24, 2014Movies, books, and magazines all have told of perhaps the worst thing to happen to an incoming student or player: hazing. Over the years hazing the new players of varsity teams has seemed to come and go, whether it be at the collegiate or high school level. And there hadn’t been any recent reported hazing scandals until this last summer when a Penn State football recruit from New Jersey was dropped because of his involvement in a hazing of new players. Six other players involved were also arrested. For most upperclassmen who are the “hazers,” it’s all to create mental toughness, or team bonding. However, hazing is not team bonding, nor does it create mental toughness for the newest players on the team; it only breaks down the team and could break down the mentality of the ones being hazed. The ones hazed will only resent the upperclassmen and have an unhealthy fear of them that could be mistaken for respect. For most of the students found guilty of committing acts of hazing – or worse depending on the acts committed – their punishment seems to be fitting. But that’s not the only solution to the problem. Being an athlete, I have been on many different teams, so being the “new player” was something I am used to. Luckily I never had any experiences even close to hazing, but I can say that I felt closer to my teammates from the mere kindness and support given by the returning players and the coaches. A team that is truly trying to create a family and create mental toughness will build each other up to everyone’s full potential, instead of pushing teammates to their breaking points with pointless and humiliating acts.
November 19, 2014Ryan White, a local freelance journalist, contacted Sarah Reid, the Director of Sports Marketing at George Fox University, and pitched the idea of writing an article in Sports Illustrated on behalf of the new GFU football program. White’s goal was to highlight a football program that is making a positive impact in the world of football. The article begins with stories of other college football teams coming under national scrutiny, and uses GFU as a positive counterpoint for what the world of college football should look like. White interviewed Robin Baker who had insight as to what he thinks college football should be. White describes Baker’s ideas as “an endearing tableau: college football that looks like the idea of college football, with student athletes reading books and pursuing real majors, and maybe, wearing letterman sweaters.” As the Director of GFU Sports Marketing, Sarah Reid has a vision for GFU sports programs that closely reflect the vision of President Baker. Reid stated in a recent interview, “No student is given money to play football or any other sport. GFU has protected the purity of athletics as we teach our athletes to to focus on their intended study and not on trying to be a professional athlete. We are trying to create a community between the students, instructors and alumni through our sporting events, while teaching them leadership. I think Division III could save athletics in the world.” GFU is a Division III school, which means that the athletes do not receive scholarships to play sports. If an athlete receives a scholarship, it is based solely on academic performance, not athletic ability. While there is much discussion as to why GFU decided to start a program in the midst of the current negative press, journalist Ryan White gives his own insight on this discussion at the end of his article. White states, “Why start a college football team in 2014? Because the game won’t be a minor league ATM at George Fox. It’ll be a sepia-toned piece of genuine Americana… Not the sport so hotly debated these days, but the one that makes millions dig ratty sweatshirts from their closet each September”. The magazine article about GFU in “Sports Illustrated” was originally supposed to run in the issue before the new season of Bruin football began. The magazine bumped the article to the next issue due to their coverage of Notre Dame Football players and allegations of academic cheating.
November 18, 2014We’ve all heard of speed skater Apolo Ohno, big-time swimmer Michael Phelps, or figure skater Yuna Kim. These three Olympians have engraved themselves into history by their own achievements, but they also have been successful models for aspiring athletes, even those who compete with disabilities. The Special Olympics is an international organization, but Oregon has really invested in these athletes. Today, 12,000 Oregon athletes take part in the games. Oregon’s branch works hard to offer inclusion in the Special Olympics program to anyone who is eligible to compete. In most cases, these athletes take on a hard-core training course that lasts eight weeks. Sponsoring celebrities might make an appearance, as Michael Phelps occasionally does through his position as a Special Olympic Global Ambassador. Apart from the Special Olympic contributions he makes, Phelps has created a self-titled, non-profit foundation to promote the benefits and athleticism of young swimmers. Speed skater and decorated Olympian Apollo Ohno also has invested himself in the Special Olympics by hosting skating classes for the athletes. Yuna Kim, also a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics, has provided classes and courses, too. At the Special Olympics in Oregon, everyone is a volunteer: coaches, supporting individuals, or present sponsors. When it comes to training and investing in the athletes, everyone takes on an influential role. The Gold Medals awarded to the athletes make them heroes, and the people volunteering behind the scenes make such heroism possible. http://www.soor.org/ http://www.specialolympics.org/
November 11, 2014The television flips to a commercial and an athlete, dripping sweat takes the screen. A narrator, one with a deep and motivational voice, begins to speak, introducing the power of sweat, what power lies behind it, and where the power to keep going comes from: Gatorade. The 2014 “Sweat it. Get it.” commercial by the well-known sports drink company promotes replenishing of fluids and electrolytes lost in the production of sweat. According to Fitday, Gatorade is highly recommended for athletes who partake in extreme level activities and sports. Enhancements are mixed in the beverage, providing energy for tired athletes through potassium, sodium, and a balanced level of carbohydrates. Other sports drinks, such as Powerade, offer the same enhancements, but with more vitamins than the original Gatorade formula. Either way, both are flavored and designed to keep you drinking more, especially after extreme physical activities. Water is, of course, another suggested fluid source. Hydration is key and water keeps that need balanced. When 60% of your body is made up of water, it’s something you should pay attention to. Water takes care of your body, protects your spine, and delivers oxygen to your heart (and everywhere else). Depending on how long and strenuous your workout is, stick to water if you’re doing a basic, routine workout that lasts up to two hours. After that point, a replenishing drink might be reasonable to keep your body going. Yet, depending on what you’re hoping to achieve with your time at the gym, Gatorade could be a negative addition. According to Live Strong, in one 20 ounce Gatorade there are 34 grams of sugar. Grams make that seem small, so convert that to about seven teaspoons. If you’re there to work off the buildup of sugars, Gatorade won’t be your best bet. Gatorade was intended for the athletically inclined, meant to improve and enhance the truly dedicated. We have to consider that, although Gatorade has made a lasting statement past the world of sports and fitness, people were able to survive athletic events with water. We can still do that today. Put the sports drinks down, and pick up some H₂O.